Geology class is really 'rock'-ing

Geology Class is Really Rockin'

Cleveland State University West Center Geology 100 students are not only studying the relationship of time to the earth; they are also studying the time the entire class has been on the earth.

Professor Heather Gallacher has the pleasure of teaching 11 traditional CSU student and nine CSU Project 60 students. (Project 60 is a University program that allows students age 60+ to enroll in credit classes tuition free if the academic space is available.) The aggregate age of the students in the Geology class is close to 1,000 years young.

The class includes a Fulbright scholar, a NASA engineer, 19 college degrees ranging from Associate to Ph.D. and two students who began their careers at CSU the year the University incorporated in 1964. They were fans of the Fenn College basketball team, the Fenn Foxes.

“This has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my teaching career,” Professor Gallacher said. “The interaction between the generations is so amazing – better than I ever could have hoped.”  

Osama Assad, a CSU senior studying Biology said, "The interaction in our class is excellent, especially the experience sharing.  They (the Project 60 students) jumped on me one day when I was complaining about feeling older. We all get along just great."

Michelle Costanzo plans to study Gerontology.  She said she loves working with older people and said she has learned so much from the Project 60 students in her class. She said they are “fantastic.”

Leonard Tower, a Project 60 student, said, "The younger people ought to realize that because of our wide travel experience, we find motivation from this class; from what we have seen. I took this class 50 years ago and have found it useful throughout the years. The younger students will find it useful once they begin to travel."

Mildred Giamatti, another of the Project 60 students, said, “The students have different specialty knowledge in the sciences and the arts which they bring to each class. It’s great.”

All of them attribute Professor Gallacher for her job in leading this extraordinary group. Joanne Gerhart said that “Professor Gallacher has integrated us with the younger generation,” through her love of the subject.

“Her tests are difficult, but her passion is unbelievable,” said Michelle Costanzo. 

James Hutton, considered the father of modern Geology, said "there's no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end.”  The same can be said for the coming-together of mind and spirit within this astonishing assembly of Cleveland State University West Center students.

Nancy Erhardt is the Student Services Coordinator for Cleveland State University's West Center.

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Volume 2, Issue 8, Posted 4:30 PM, 04.15.2010